Citing “make or break moment for the middle class” in Osawatomie, KS, President channels Teddy Roosevelt in framing choice between Republican proposals and his solutions.
Obama: “We simply cannot return to this brand of your-on-your-own economics if we’re serious about rebuilding the middle class in this country.”
Argues for society “when everyone gets a fair shot, when everyone does their fair share, and when everyone plays by the same rules.”
Obama stresses growing income gap: “For most Americans, the basic bargain that made this country great has eroded.”
President drills down on Republican vision: “There’s been a certain crowd in Washington…who respond to this economic challenge with the same old tune. ‘The market will take care of everything.'”
Obama: “Gaping inequality gives lie to the promise at the very heart of America: that this is the place where you can make it if you try.”
Says country needs to “rethink our tax system,” choose between “things like education, and research…or…tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans in our country.”
Calls bank bailouts “infuriating” but necessary to prevent “second Great Depression.”